"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more
To find some answers Tim Machan explores the language's present and past, and looks ahead to its futures among the one and a half billion people who speak it. His search is fascinating and important, for definitions of English have influenced education and law in many countries and helped shape the identities of those who live in them.
This volume provides a new perspective on the evolution of the special language of medicine, based on the electronic corpus of Early Modern English Medical Texts, containing over two million words of medical writing from 1500 to 1700.
The Lord's Prayer in Erromangan: Literacy and Translation in a Vanuatu Language
Erromangan, an Oceanic language of southern Vanuatu, has a written literature that until recently was restricted exclusively to materials relating to recently introduced Christianity. This literature is entirely translated, with the materials written by European missionaries in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In many respects, these translations are structurally deviant to the point where intelligibility is sometimes impaired. Massive population loss and major language shift on the island in the second half of the nineteenth century should has predisposed this language to massive simplification and homogenisation in the direction of English according to some scenarios, especially were literacy and Christianisation are involved. However, the remaining Erromangan language has remained vital, structurally complex and largely intact, demonstrating that the linguistic disruption posed by missionary-inspired literacy is nothing like as powerful as some have suggested.